An armed man shot the Russian ambassador in a contemporary art gallery in Ankara on Monday during the opening ceremony of the photo exhibition ‘Russia as Seen by the Turks’.
While the speech of ambassador Andrei Karlov was underway, eyewitnesses told TASS, the assassin shot the Russian ambassador in the back. After the shots, Karlov fell to the floor. The gunman the pumped several more rounds into the ambassador, according to the Guardian.
Karlov was rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds, according to a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman.
The suspected assassin of the Ambassador was killed during a special police operation, NTV television channel reported on Monday.
The Russian foreign ministry said it was in contact with Ankara over the events, RIA Novosti reported. President Vladimir Putin called an urgent meeting with foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and the heads of the security services.
Karlov had been part of discussions with Turkey that enabled an evacuation of east Aleppo underway late last week. The incident comes a day before the Turkish foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, is due in Moscow for talks with Russian and Iranian counterparts.
Fatih Öke, the press attache of Turkey’s embassy in Washington DC, tweeted: “The bullet to Ambassador Karlov is not only aims him. It aims also Turkish Russian relation. We are praying for his good health and peace.”